Welcome to the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education. Our coalition of parents, school officials, arts organizations, community and business leaders are working to keep the arts in our local schools. Join us!

April 30, 2013

April is a popular month for performing arts festivals and competitions.  LAUSD was well represented at the local, regional, state, and national levels.  Here are some of the top recognitions garnered by Los Al performing artists:

At the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival, McAuliffe Middle School received 2nd and 3rd place honors, and LAHS Jazz I placed 2nd in their respective divisions.  Oak Middle School was awarded outstanding rhythm section and a scholarship to drummer Liam Reece at the renowned Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.  

The Los Al Dance Team placed 2nd and 3rd at Tremaine Convention & Competition in Los Angeles.

Four students from McAuliffe Choir were part of the Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choir, which performed in Los Angeles:  Duke Ketcham, Annie Wang, Alexis Luyben, and Gillian Kass.  Oak Choirs placed 1st & 3rd in Placentia.  LAHS Choirs received 1st and 2nd place awards in Burbank and at national show choir competitions in Orlando and Chicago.  They were crowned Grand Champions in Orlando.  Nicole Barker, Tailynn Carlton, and Chance Perez were recognized for their solos. 

Los Al Drama presented an original play, "A Chance of Color", which was well received.

McGaugh Elementary School presented its 31st annual Pageant of the Arts, adding a new work by Australian Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.  

Each of these events is the culmination of countless hours of effort by students, parents, classroom teachers, private instructors, booster clubs, school administrators, school board, and others.  The experiences and lessons learned - including discipline, teamwork, perseverence, cooperation, time management and imagination - will likely last a lifetime.

March 25, 2013

LAUSD Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp has announced that LAHS choir director David Moellenkamp has been named as a 2013 Outstanding Arts Educator by the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators. OCMAA is a part of the Orange County Department of Education and is a network of district leaders, community arts educators, business, and parents.

Mr. Moellenkamp was awarded this prestigious honor for his ongoing efforts as an arts educator who makes a difference in the lives of students. He was specifically cited for his creative, innovative, and effective instructional strategies that have resulted in his choir groups winning numerous awards and national recognition, demonstrating his commitment to excellence in learning both in and through the arts.

March 25, 2013

Full STEAM Ahead!

Adding A (Art)  to STEM (Science - Technology -Engineering - Math)   makes STEAM.

A new bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus has a mission to extend the integration of art and design with STEM education. “There were digital music devices before the iPod, but it took creative design and interface development from Apple to transform the way the world listens to music… That art and science go together seems as obvious as looking at the work of an iconic technical creative like Leonardo da Vinci, but visual arts, music, and other creative classes are often up for the budgeting axe at schools across the country.

To read more go to: http://hyperallergic.com/67186/bring-art-and-science-out-of-academic-isolation/

February 21, 2013

On February 14th, the Orange County Board of Education declared March 2013 as Arts Education Month in Orange County.  The declaration recognizes that arts education is an essential part of basic education for all students K-12; that students derive many benefits from arts education; that arts education is part of California's education policy; and encourages communities to celebrate the arts.

February 14, 2013

With a new legislative session underway, critical decisions are being made that will impact the lives of California students. Young advocates can provide unique evidence of the vital role the arts play in their education. In the latest videos for the Student Voices campaign, students share the ways that the arts nurture imagination, confidence and creative self-expression.

The campaign runs until March 31, 2013 and invites students to make a video of two minutes or less that answers the question “Why do the arts matter?” and share it the legislators who represent them in Sacramento. Videos can be made individually or as a class, they can be recorded on a cell phone, laptop webcam or video camera. Watch the latest videos here and join the campaign here: http:// www.StudentVoicesCampaign.org

February 14, 2013

There's no doubt in our technology-driven times that we need plenty of graduates who can tackle such subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). But even technology wizards can become more innovative with a solid background in liberal arts.

Consider the late Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple. Jobs attended a calligraphy class at Oregon's Reed College. Decades later, in a 2005 Stanford commencement address, Jobs recalled the course and said, "It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture."

January 31, 2013

Esteemed education advocate Sir Ken Robinson explains in this short three minute video on why creativity is crucial in education, and why it will require a transformation in the way schools work.

In his words, “Creativity is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity.”

 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/01/sir-ken-robinson-fostering-creativity-in-education-is-not-an-option/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=linkedin&goback=%2Egde_3259434_member_205435081

January 16, 2013

On October 9, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nury Martinez introduced a visionary and sweeping resolution to establish the arts as part of the district's core curriculum, placing it alongside math, reading, history, and science as essential components of a student's K-12 education. The resolution, titled "Student Achievement, Educational Equity, and Mastery of 21st Century Workforce Skills through Arts at the Core," makes a comprehensive argument for the arts' place at the table, citing the wealth of research on the impact of arts-rich education on student success within and beyond their K-12 education. After hearing public comment from actor and esteemed collector of Latin American art Cheech Marin; actress, philanthropist, and parent Monica Rosenthal; former teacher of the year Carlos Lauchu; Boeing executive Jim Herr; Los Angeles County Arts for All's director Denise Grande; education funder Matty Sterenchock; and students from Carlos Santana Arts Academy, the board responded by approving the resolution unanimously.

November 2, 2012

Art and music are key to student development.

Ballet dancers practicing in a studio
Credit: Getty Images

"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.

Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing," creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. And strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind: From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. "Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,'' says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education

For full text, go to  http://www.edutopia.org/arts-music-curriculum-child-development

October 27, 2012

I'm sharing this article that I found in the LA Times in March 2011, just after the launch of the Los Alamitos Alliance.  I saved the article because of it illustrates the importance of arts education and  because the author, Daniel J. Levitin, is both a research scientist and a musician. His uncommon combination of skills means that he's able to comment from both an artistic, qualitative view and from a scientific, quantitative view.  

Levitin's childhood experience is a very personal case for keeping arts in public schools.  He explains that music saved him from being beaten up by the school bullies, but that it also planted the seeds for his interest in neuroscience, specifically the effect of music on the brain. In his closing, he opines that the California public school system of his time "valued the arts as a way to instill social skills and curiosity.  I hope the next generation of public school kids gets the same opportunity the state of California gave me to discover things about themselves and the world through music."
Read the full article:

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